SpaceX is hiring a

Communications Electrical Engineer

Vandenberg Air Force Base, United States

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.

Communications Electrical Engineer, Vandenberg

Work as part of a small team of elite engineers designing and improving the command, control and communications electronic systems at our rocket launch facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base on the Central Coast of California, home to Space Launch Complex 4 SpaceX’s “polar operations space port”. Be there on the ground floor, getting your hands dirty and contributing directly to the success of many future launches.


  • Provide support in the assessment, specification development and testing of radio frequency systems architecture, components, circuits, or products. This includes antenna specification of reflector and array systems, transmitters and receivers, etc.
  • Analyze RF radiation, emission patterns, and trajectories to maximize link budget and meet regulatory requirements in UHF, L-Band, C-Band, and S-Band communication systems.
  • Perform trade studies to define communication system requirements and optimizations.
  • Assist with proposals and specification development related to Launch Site facility-to-range and Launch Vehicle-to-ground communication systems.
  • Design, install, operate and sustain communications systems including fiber optic cable plant, operational voice, wireless voice, video and RF systems.
  • Perform analysis, engineering, and installation for telemetry antennas.
  • Working out in the field performing hands-on designing and troubleshooting.
  • Configuring and operating TCP/IP based Communication equipment.
  • Help SpaceX achieve its long-term goal of creating the world’s first fully automated launch system capable of rolling the vehicle to the pad, raising it to position, fueling the vehicle, and executing a full launch sequence within a 1-hour time window.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering
  • At least 2 years of project or industry experience with RF, controls, and communications systems
  • At least 1 year of project or industry experience in one or more of the following areas: capabilities-based analysis, system architecture development, requirements analysis and traceability, analysis of alternatives, interoperability, risk management, modeling & simulation, test & evaluation, or test planning and management

  Preferred Skills and Experience:

  • Able to perform field work, able to work with hands, and have real-world knowledge of working with tools and test equipment.
  • Experience performing RF link analysis for launch vehicle and satellite systems
  • Experience with S-Band C-Band and L-Band amplifier specification and testing
  • Knowledge of C++, Python, and Labview as well as an understanding of advanced modulation and coding techniques
  • Experience with serial data communications systems including acquisition, storage, processing, transport and display -- including TCP/IP, EIA 530, and PCM/FM
  • Basic familiarity with electronics labs and environments
  • Demonstrated excellence in leadership, communications, and briefing skills, with an ability to interface with key stakeholders
  • Must be able to work well in an integrated collaborative team environment including daily interactions with technicians, engineers, and managers
  • Able to run with a project from early design stage to implementation and testing
  • Self-motivated and directed with keen attention to detail

Additional Requirements:

  • Must pass Vandenberg Air Force background check
  • Must be willing to travel (approximately 10%) to other launch sites as necessary
  • Must be willing to work long hours and weekends when necessary to support launch and critical project timelines, flexibility required
  • Must be able to lift a minimum of 35 lbs. unassisted
  • Lifting, standing, climbing, bending, grasping, sitting, pulling, pushing, stooping, stretching, and carrying are generally required to perform the functions of this position
  • Must be able to work at elevated heights (up to 300 feet), including the use of ladders
  • Must be able to work in confined spaces
  • Typically exposed to work in extreme outdoor environments – heat, cold, rain, ice
  • Work performed in an environment requiring exposure to fumes, odors, and noise

ITAR Requirements:

  • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about ITAR here.

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000

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